Don’t discount, influence
We’re living in uncertain times. Making sales is harder because your customers just don’t know what’s coming next. So how do you keep revenue rolling in, and is it possible to increase your sales despite all that’s going on around us?
The answer is to challenge your customers. Disrupt them and make them think, help them to see possibilities, realize need, and create desire.
If you want to increase sales, don’t discount!
There’s a lot of businesses discounting products to try to grow their sales and market share. But this isn’t a strategy you should consider. That was the unanimous conclusion of all those on a group call of the Build Live Give Sales Machine.
On that call, we discussed how to sell in uncertain times. Everyone felt it is important not to discount. If you discount your prices, you’re telling customers that you no longer value your product or service as you did before. Once you do this, it’s incredibly difficult to increase your prices back to where they were before.
Your job in sales is to influence a buying decision, because of what you, your product, and your service brings to the table. If you rely on price to sell, then you’ll end up working way harder for lower revenues. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
So, what’s the strategy to use?
In a nutshell, put yourself in your customer’s shoes, be sensitive to their circumstances, and ask better questions. You can combine this with aggressive payment plans and bonuses, but never by discounting.
Employ affective influence
The days of the hard sell are well and truly gone. Instead you need to influence buying decisions. When discussing the art of selling without sounding salesy, sales coach Rachel Bourke told me that she calls this ‘affective influence’.
“Affective influence means you understand the importance of emotion in the selling process and in the selling conversation,” Rachel told me. “Being good at selling is your ability to be an incredibly influential person. A person who can elicit a strong emotional journey for a prospect in your conversation with them. So, you have a conversation with them that is incredibly powerful, but it also converts.
“That is all about your ability to elicit those emotions; ask the right questions; take them on a journey where you’re not just pushing them down into a pain point, but you’re lifting them up into a state of hope. A state of inspiration and aspiration, where they look forward and they go, ‘Wow! I have never known that was possible. Let’s do it!’”
And so, we return to asking better questions – by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and challenging them. Yes, I said challenging them.
Isn’t challenging customers risky?
The central theme of challenger sales training is really to get you to be disruptive, elicit emotions, and teach your customers something about their business – something new that will compel them to move from the status quo.
In this selling strategy, you:
- Teach your customers something they don’t know about their market
- Tailor your sales pitch to the customer’s needs
- Control the sales conversation by focusing on the value you are providing, and moving away from price
Through this process, you:
- Provide insight and knowledge (which builds your authority, making it easier to influence decision making)
- Develop desire (an emotional response) by highlighting need in current markets
- Offer a tailored solution to meet those needs
- Develop focus on your value proposition
This process creates urgency and want. Your customer wants your solution. They want it now.
Creating the time to challenge
Challenging your customers cannot be done in a single call or meeting. Buyers are savvier than this. You must deliver your insights and market knowledge stealthily. Develop their mindset. Prepare their current way of thinking to be challenged. For example, by delivering content that focuses their minds on the issues that you want them to focus on.
In today’s world, this means blog posts, articles, emails, and social media messaging – all connected to provide a consistent evolution of learning.
Hard work? Certainly. Unless you work smart. Let go. Automate. Take your customers and leads through the buyer journey to the point where you can close. The point where their mindset is ready to reach out for your solution, and then close the deal.
How do you take your customers to the point where you can challenge them and use your affective influence, without burning out? What parts of your process can you outsource? What can be automated? What can you do better, smarter, and more effectively?
Let me know about your biggest challenges. What’s stopping you from increasing your revenues? Is it time? Is it resources? Is it expertise? Let me know in the comments below, and let’s get a conversation going.
Alternatively, to better understand your sales skills and how targeted sales training can help to build your confidence and your revenues – the kind of revenues that will boost your ability to live the life you desire – contact me today.